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In September 1836, the people of Texas overwhelmingly voted to seek annexation by the United States. After a formal presentation of the subject by Minister Plenipotentiary Memucan Hunt to the U.S. on August 4, 1837, the proposal was hotly debated in the U.S. Congress and opposed primarily by those against the expansion of slavery. At Sam Houston’s request, the newly appointed Minister Plenipotentiary Anson Jones withdrew the annexation offer on October 2, 1838. The Republic of Texas Senate approved of the withdrawal on January 23, 1839.

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When Houston was elected President for his second term (in December 1841), he began to urge annexation once more (after President Mirabeau B. Lamar had dropped the issue). The U.S. Senate ratified a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation in January 1843, but refused to ratify a treaty of annexation in June 1844. That December, outgoing U.S. President John Tyler proposed that Texas be annexed by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress.

The resolution passed in February 1845 and in November, Texas voters approved annexation by a landslide. On February 19, 1846, Anson Jones, now President of the Republic, hauled down the Texas flag and watched as the Stars and Stripes were raised for the first time on Texas soil, concluding, “The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more.”

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Items on display in this exhibit

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“Are you for or against Texas Annexation – Read and Circulate.” 1844 Broadside 350.

“Robert Irion to Memucan Hunt” letter August 13, 1837,  re: annexation and boundaries with instructions to try to get Texas annexed to the U.S. either as a state or a territory with some provision made for money to cover Texas's national debt and insistence that the southwest boundary is the Rio Grande. Legation Papers #471-474.

“Steven F. Austin to Wharton, December 10, 1836.” Legation Papers 37-38.

“Poll of Election – Goliad County, October 13, 1845."  2-9/48.

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Page last modified: May 6, 2015